Alopecia Awareness and Treatment

Alopecia Areata Awareness Month is an annual time dedicated to increasing awareness, educating the public, reducing stigma, and helping those affected by alopecia. Alopecia areata, more commonly known as alopecia, is a common disease that causes hair loss. The word alopecia means bald; areata means patchy. Alopecia causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and other body areas. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body’s immune system mistakes your healthy tissues as dangerous and begins attacking them.

Alopecia Symptoms

All types of alopecia areata result in hair loss of some type. Unfortunately, this disease is unpredictable and it’s impossible to predict the pattern of hair loss and regrowth or how long-lasting or severe it will be. Common symptoms include:

  • Hair loss and regrowth at the same time in different parts of the body
  • Small, round, or oval patches of hair loss on the
    • Scalp
    • Beard area of the face
    • Other areas of the body with hair
  • Hair loss that’s mostly on one side of the scalp instead of both sides
  • Significant hair loss in a very short amount of time

Alopecia Awareness and TreatmentHow to Diagnosis Alopecia

The only way to be certain you have alopecia is have a dermatologist diagnose you. The first step they will take is to gather information about you. This includes your medical history, your family’s medical history, current symptoms, diet, etc. Next, they will examine the part of your body where skin and nails grow. After the examination, they might do a few simple tests, like the pull test (gently pulling on strands of hair), or the tug test (checking to see if strands break). Lastly, they may recommend further tests like cultures or a scalp biopsy to officially confirm. Luckily, there are plenty of great resources in Addison to diagnose and treat Alopecia. Check out some of our recommendations below.

Recommended Dermatologists

Dallas Dermatology Partners

Dallas Dermatology Partners is a wholly physician-owned and operated practice dedicated to providing exceptional dermatology care to all patients in a warm and thoughtful atmosphere. Unbounded by limitations placed by corporate mandates, each of their physicians are personally committed to delivering you the most sophisticated and personalized care possible. The expertly skilled board-certified dermatologists share the same love for dermatology and are passionate about utilizing superior treatments and procedures with the best in evidence-based medicine to provide the highest level of dermatological care.

Skin Specialists of Addison

The goal at Skin Specialists of Addison is provide every one of their patients with the best skin care while treating them in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The dermatological practice provides general skin care, surgical, pediatric, and laser surgery services for the treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. They also provide an extensive variety of cosmetic procedures including laser treatments, Botox, dermal fillers for the treatment of facial wrinkles and folds, chemical peels, and sclerotherapy for leg veins. The office employs the most advanced techniques for both medical and cosmetic dermatology.

Alopecia Awareness and TreatmentAlopecia Treatment

While there is no cure for Alopecia currently, there are treatments for both children and adults. The kind your doctor recommends depends on factors such as age, the severity of hair loss, the presentation (form or type) of your hair loss, or if you have an atopic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema. The goals of alopecia treatment are to block your immune system’s attacks and stimulate hair growth.  Examples of treatment include:

  • Injections of corticosteroids: This is the most effective treatment for those who have patches of hair loss. Your dermatologist will inject corticosteroids directly into the spots with hair loss. Patients will need several shots every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Anthralin: You apply this medication to the bald spots, let it sit on the skin for as long as your dermatologist says, and then wash it off. It will cause some skin irritation. To get the best results, you’ll also use minoxidil after your hair regrows.
  • Minoxidil: After your hair regrows, minoxidil can help you keep the regrowth. To be effective, you will need to apply this medication 2 to 3 times a day. It can be helpful for the scalp, beard area, and eyebrows.
  • Contact immunotherapy: Also called topical immunotherapy, the goal of this treatment is to get your immune system to stop attacking your hair follicles. The treatment involves your dermatologist applying a chemical to your skin with hair loss, allowing your skin to develop a reaction. Once this happens, the chemical will be applied weekly to the areas of hair loss and left on for 48 hours. This treatment continues until either you completely regrow your hair or after 6 months, the treatment fails.
  • Other medications that work throughout the body: No one treatment is right for everyone. Your dermatologist may prescribe another oral (taken by mouth) medication. This could include prednisone, methotrexate, cyclosporine, or other medication that works on your immune system to help your hair regrow.

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